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Monday, October 10, 2016

Lighting the Flame: "Our Approach, Our Investment & Success Story" - Gov. Obiano



In Anambra today, Agricultural Revolution has brought great fortune to ndi Anambra: enhanced food production, Security, employment opportunities, better life amongst other benefits.

The approach adopted by Gov Willie Obiano and his team; the investment and success stories of the approach are relayed by the governor himself as posted below.

"When we ignited the fire of the Agro-Revolution in Anambra State on May 15, 2014, many people did not think we were serious about our action. It just didn’t make sense that anyone would be talking about farming in Anambra State. People wondered what had happened to the markets in Onitsha and Nnewi and all the markets across the world where our people are driving commerce. They believed the stereotype that portrays Ndigbo as nothing more than traders looking for the smallest human settlement to set up their shops. But we know that from pre-historical times, our ancestors had great farmers whose wealth was measured in the number and size of the barns where they stored their yams. It was a thing of pride among our ancestors to go beyond feeding one’s family to organizing lavish feasts for the entire community. This often manifested when they took highly revered titles or when they gave out their children in marriage. Our thinking then was, if our ancestors could feed an entire village in pre-history, Anambra State should be able to produce enough food to feed Ndi Anambra and still have enough remnants to export to the rest of the world. So, when I lit the fire of our Agro-Revolution in Nteje, Oyi Local Government Area, I knew that I was not only starting a new and dignifying chapter for my people but I was also challenging ancient stereotypes. Nevertheless, I went ahead to ignite the Revolution with the flag off of the Farming Season. It turned out a battle cry of sorts. We rolled out 100 tractors and handed out tonnes of improved varieties of seedlings.
We organised our famers into cooperatives for ease of management and effective distribution of agricultural support".


Our Approach
"In order to keep a sharp focus on our drive for excellence, we had to come up with a concise objective in Agriculture. We declared that our Objective is to ensure that Anambra State joins the Top-3 states in agricultural production in Nigeria. We needed an objective that would galvanize all our efforts in one direction. With our objective intact, we began the quest for credible partnerships. It is important to note at this juncture that there can be no serious transformational effort in agriculture without a strategic partnership with the private sector. In our case in Anambra State, we have the advantage of having many entrepreneurs who have the resources and the knowledge to play a role in our programme. What was needed from us was to demonstrate a bold resolve to push through our initiatives and show commitment to our own plans. In other words, the investors were simply waiting for our body language. A major part of our body language is the setting up of the Anambra State Investment Promotion and Protection Agency (ANSIPPA) which was conceived as a one-stop investment supermarket that offers almost instantaneous solutions to the challenges a prospective investor encounters in the process of putting down his money for profit within an economic system. ANSIPPA made the entire process of investing in Anambra State seem like a walk in the park; eliminating all the bureaucracy and making our response rate to investment inquiries work like magic. I must not fail to note at this juncture that before ANSIPPA, we had also demonstrated a more convincing body language with the intense crackdown on criminals in the state which turned Anambra into the safest state in the federation. All these form a major part of making the operating climate friendly and receptive to investors".

Our Investment Story
"A direct result of creating a favourable investment climate is that it creates a ripple in the investment community. Investors are often highly aware of the existence of a new investment haven. Being risk takers, they have a nose for unlikely information and are more likely to hear local news than the residents of a particular community. The same principle applies to our narrative of excellence in Anambra State. On hearing the modest achievements we had recorded in fighting insecurity and in setting up a proper institution like ANSIPPA, many investors came knocking on the door. Among these risk-takers are 9 Agro-investors who together have collectively changed the agricultural landscape of Anambra State. These investors include Coscharis Farms which invested $110m dollars in rice production, Joseph Agro Limited with $150 million dollars in rice production, Delfarms Ltd with $200 million dollars in integrated farm project, Novtech Farms with $50m dollars in rice production, Eckcel Farms with $100 million dollars in tomato production, Lynden Farms with $61 million dollars in integrated farm project, MIP Farms with $10 million dollars in tomatoes and Greenhouse production, Tricity Integrated Farms with $11.4 million dollars and Silos & Grains with $23.5 million dollars in a malting plant".

Success Stories
"While most of our partnerships with Agro-investors in Anambra State have taken off, companies like Coscharis Farms, Joseph Agro Ltd, Delfarms, Lynden Farms, MIP Farms and others appear clearly in the lead at the moment. In fact, Coscharis Farms has demonstrated extraordinary passion and commitment to change our agricultural narrative. The company played a key role in pushing our local rice production from 80 metric tonnes to 210,000 metric tonnes. Anambra consumes 320,000 metric tonnes of rice per year. At this rate, Coscharis Farms alone can easily help us to meet and surpass our rice consumption in Anambra State in two or less harvest seasons. Coscharis is practising big industrial farming with ultra-modern machines. The company sits on about 2800 Hectares out of which only 2000 hectares have been cultivated so far. At optimum capacity, Coscharis will be producing about 120,000 metric tonnes of rice per annum. There is also Joseph Agro which farms on 500 hectares and Novtech Farms with 1000 hectares and 200 hectares."


The above is an extract from an Address Presented by the Governor of Anambra State, His Excellency Chief Willie Obiano at the Third Adegboyega Awomolo & Associates Annual Colloquium in Abuja.

Truly, we're #MovingForward!

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